The wave of the future…Eco and Reverse Camber it up.

02 Feb, 2009


If you happened to be at SIA last week or at ISPO this week, you’ll notice that most every company now has two things…Eco and Reverse Camber. I’ll dive into my thoughts on both of these and what they mean for the industry, for snowboarding and it’ll be interesting to hear your input as well…what do you think about these two popular items in snowboarding.
Eco Love for all?
O-matic definitely has it right with the graphic that says “eco sells” on the topsheet. I don’t own a eco board and I honestly don’t really care to, I believe that eco is a state of mind…that if you want to go eco it’s the full nine yards, garden in the backyard, walk/bus to work and snowboarding, recycling gear…the list goes on.  

Since I really do none of those steps I feel pretty confident that just cause I buy an eco friendly board that I’m still not doing shit for the environment. One board isn’t gonna change that you drive 2 hours to the mountain by yourself or use plastic grocery bags instead of your own re-usable cloth bags.

I will say it’s great that products are being re-used but for me the whole picture is really the whole picture. I liked that Norm from Lib is working on an idea that I buy into, that would prove how environmentally friendly Lib Tech is. Because lets be honest just because you say you are, doesn’t mean you are. Just because a product has that eco friendly stamp of approval on it…doesn’t mean that it was vouched for and legit.

It’s apparent that a lot of companies are now getting in to the game and I do think it’s because it sells.

Reverse camber this

A couple weeks ago I had an anonymous comment on the blog asking me this, “Do you think Rocker / Reverse or No Camber boards are going to take over the market completely? Are we witnessing the end of days for the regular cambered snowboard?” It was a really good question so I ignored it because I knew I’d need time to think it over and I’d use it in a post eventually (sorry for the delay!).

At SIA there was a lot of reverse camber boards on the floor. Companies either wholly dived into it or finally introduced it to their lines. Even with the tough economy, the reverse camber boards sold this year. For this blog, the reviews of the reverse camber boards were the most popular and most asked about reviews.
With so many companies now making reverse camber snowboards, it definitely is taking an idea and not making it your own but re-using it from someone else’s creation. Lib Tech went forth with their patent which I’ve heard is pretty broad on the design, Never Summer submitted their camber/reverse camber for a patent as well and not familiar with who else has submitted a patent regarding reverse camber. We will see what happens with the patents and what companies will do what when it comes time to look into patent infringement. I’d like to think that the industry is about every company expanding snowboarding to the next level and reverse camber seems to be that next level. I don’t believe it’s hype but it does get rid of the snowboarder needing a board for different conditions.
Reverse camber won’t die in my opinion but I have yet to see a professional snowboarder competing in the superpipe with a reverse camber board. Thanks to Mia from Burton, I found out that Danny Davis is riding a v-rocker version of the Easy Living in the superpipe. There are still pros that rock regular camber and despite that they have reverse camber to ride. It’s personal preference for a lot of people. Reverse camber is easy to ride, it’s less likely to hook on you or catch an edge, it’s easy to butter and press and it’ll float in powder better. All those scenarios reach out to the mass audience of snowboarders that want something new that’ll last them in every condition possible in every mountain they go to. Whether it’s the ice coast or their once a year shred trip to Jackson Hole. That is why it’s popular and will stick around.
I just hope that the whole patent issue doesn’t become so much that it ruins it for everyone. Those who created it should reap the rewards but they also should not prevent other companies from trying to make it their own and testing the waters with it. Patents are meant to protect intellectual property, not the direction of the market. The direction of the market is going into reverse camber quiver killer. In the end we will see if reverse camber is able to be patented.
So those are the two big things this year, eco friendly to make you feel better and reverse camber to make you spend less on boards.
Be interesting to hear what people think about both…I’ll admit I don’t buy into the eco friendly BS because to me its more than just buying one product that’ll make you eco-friendly. I love reverse cambers and think that because of them, because of companies making it their own…there is some great stuff going on to get people riding.

About the author

Shay

From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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38 Comments

  1. luo
    February 03, 2009

    About the eco boards, I think it should be all about consistency. I don’t see the point of a brand selling one eco model since the other models are still bad for earth (factory is still running).

    If a company decides to make eco-boards then it should do all its models in an ecological manner except of just one. Though, with higher costs and prices, this would be a perilous move.

    So this is mostly for the sell factor I guess…

  2. Jay
    February 03, 2009

    Both Torah Bright and Danny Kass have competed with BTX. I’m sure there are more.

  3. Marc
    February 03, 2009

    The green movement in manufacturing has an associated goal which is to have the true cost of products be known to the end consumer. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the full life-cycle cost of anything has been ignored, people only ever pay for the production cost and this is now catching up to us. The ecological movement should also be seen as an economic one, at some point we’re all going to have to pay for the full life cycle of everything we consume and have ever consumed. This is why I agree with how Lib and Signal are approaching the problem. You don’t see much mention of “ecological” in their marketing.

  4. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    libtech is talking out of both sides of their mouth, they are doing a version of NS’s rocker next year and they want to talk about patents??

  5. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    hey shay. excellent point in eco & reverse camber. About the eco, your absolutley right. its all companies making money off the hype and if you want to be eco you really have to go the extra mile and whole-heartedly dive right into it. buying a so called "eco-friendly" board changes nothing. even if everybody does it. it's just money/hype.

    As for the reverse camber. Danny Kass' Pro Model GNU is Bannana-Magne Traction. I'm not sure if he rides it in the superpipe but it's his own pro-model so wouldn't it stand to reason that he would?
    anyways, that's just my two cents. love what your doing. keep it coming.

  6. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    I disagree to what you said Shay. It’s not about that if you buy eco-board you need to really be eco. Every little action count. The problem is that those board are not ecological at all. It’s the same stupid thing as a normal snowboard…maybe just more weak boards. They just want you to buy more stuff with pretext that it is eco…that is Green Washing.

    So to be trully environmental, you just don’t buy anything. We all know we could ride our stuff much longer then we do. True eco board are NS: 3 year warranty and they will last forever!

    And yes, patents kill evolution.

  7. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    magnatraction is cool reverse camber is great for the freestyle-pow but as far as good old free riding give me camber. I want to feel some energy delivered from turn to turn.and I don’t get that from a banana. I haven’t ridden the mag-less rocker yet but doubt they will generate much edge hold.

  8. TheButress
    February 03, 2009

    As a member of the building/construction industry, I am very familiar with an industry’s use of “green” to attempt to up their market share. Are some companies lame for slapping a “green” tag on some half ass attempt? Yes. Are there some (a lot) of barely informed consumers out there that will snap that crap up and feel a little better about themselves at the end of the day? Yep.

    You can take everything to one extreme or the other. I say shoot for moderation. I’d love to ride an planet-friendly board that does what I need it too and isn’t far and away more expensive. I just don’t know if that day has arrived just yet. Maybe after I wear out my cheap starter board…

    I’m sure in the near future, “eco” will evolve as well, becoming a requirement from the government. Then, we’ll just have do decide HOW “green” every company is compared to the others.

  9. GhostMane
    February 03, 2009

    Any chance you could upload images from Capita’s showing at SIA. I am really intrigued by the graphics on the quiver killer. Also I am looking for an in into the world of snowboard graphics. Check out my blog here:
    http://keepyourfaceradical.blogspot.com/

    Love the blog. Keep it up

  10. Anonymous
    February 03, 2009

    ill tell you why we did the extr-eco board for next season:
    we went to one of the two major material suppliers for snowboards and asked them for costs on their recycled/eco friendly materials. we are a small company and wanted to do what small part we can within snowboard manufacturing to be green ish, more like light brown, but you get the point. anyhow, we were informed that several big name companies had the exclusive on the eco friendly materials for the next two years. i was like wtf ??!! we are small, want to do the right thing, and no, its not about the right thing its about making a bunch of green, by as one of you said, greenwashing ! such bs ! my family happens to embrace the green living as best we can. bringing our own bags to the grocery store, recycling everything that we own and often participating in town/beach cleanups. infact my childrens school is dedicated to this. enough blathering on about this. the point is, eco sells, and our board for the next year basically calls out the bullshit. because in the end it is all bullshit.
    thanks shay for keeping such a bitchin blog !
    todd richards, omatic snowboards

  11. Paul
    February 04, 2009

    Yay for Todd in the comments!
    Nice post indeed.

  12. hoon
    February 04, 2009

    interesting. i think any little thing a company can do from reducing packaging to streamlining shipments to selling recycled plastic highbacks is a step in the right direction. does it sell? hopefully the answer is always a resounding YES.

    as more people get on board, companies can make the expansion across their entire line up not just seletc items… Rome (the empire) was not built in a day.

    stay tuned.

  13. Seth
    February 04, 2009

    Call me closed minded but, I have zero intention of buying a rocker board. I don’t ride rails or “butter” anything. I’m just not with that movement in snowboarding. Granted I’m sure it is something that can help when riding deep pow but, I’m stuck in PA. I don’t have the opportunity to ride pow enough to make a rocker board a worthy purchase. I love what positive camber gives me the ability to do and have no problems with any of the so-call downfalls of it.

  14. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    well if capita can do it, why can’t omatic? sounds like a bit of a cop out to me

  15. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    maybe capita is bigger than o-matic and can deal with the prices of said material from other sources? capita is part of a umbrella group, therefore more leverage. i tend to agree with the thoughts on the hypocrisy of eco friendly boards. the layup process alone is very toxic.

  16. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    capita is not part of an umbrella group, but they are associated with other companies that are distributed under c3, but they wouldn’t have more leverage to buy green, why would they? how would having coal and deluxe under the same umbrella help?
    as far as being bigger than omatic, maybe, but it would be splitting hairs

  17. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    your right, we are copping out. sorry earth

    todd richards

  18. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    money = leverage

  19. Shayboarder
    February 04, 2009

    Really good points and glad I got some discussion going on this. These are just my thoughts on everything, I’m definitely not an expert on eco shit. Kudos for re-using products that would normally go in the trash. But realistically snowboarding is not eco friendly, South of the North made a good point about everything involved that proves it’s not eco friendly. I like that more resorts use wind power and are finding other ways to be cost and energy efficient. As a whole the steps are going in the right direction, I won’t really buy into the marketing side of it.

    I respect the companies that do it but don’t make it their marketing bandwagon…like we are better than you because we have this. I like to see it proven that they really do care, to me that’s more valuable and I’d buy into the whole marketing scheme. I spent a lot of time talking with Norm from Lib, Lib is very big on their environmental factory and what he wants to do to show the steps involved and that to me is more believable than putting a stamp on a board and saying how green it is.

    Will the tiny little steps become big steps for corporations? I saw eco friendly boards and huge catalogs come out of SIA. This is 2009, everything should be available online. I’d love to attend SIA and not have to worry about suitcase room for catalogs.

    For rocker, it took me a while to get used to it and now I see the benefits of it. It really does make riding easier and the majority of snowboarders are not pros. I see it as really opening it up to those riders that don’t ride as much…when they do get on snow they want to not have to re-learn how to ride and deal with catching edges. That being said I still have regular camber boards in my collection, I still ride them at demo’s and will continue too.

    I really hope the patents don’t become an issue. I see this being as big of an issue as if the snowboard was held to the patent and that alone was enough to tear apart the snowboarding industry…limiting the creative drive and limiting snowboarding regardless of what company you are with.

    Ghostmane…Capita went up today 😉

    Todd, I appreciate you coming by and telling the story, it was interesting to hear at SIA and I was caught off guard by it as I’m sure you guys were. If something is better for the community, wouldn’t it be something that shouldn’t discriminate to small or big companies.

  20. TheButress
    February 04, 2009

    If you are going to get down on a company for not being green enough, you better be walking up to the owner personally to pass your opinion along. Otherwise it’s just wasteful. And u better be naked.

  21. Shayboarder
    February 04, 2009

    Yeah I tried that this year, walking into SIA naked…just doesn’t work as well as you’d think.

  22. Nose Dradamous
    February 04, 2009

    Seriously, what the fuck is anyone gonna patent? I have a 1982 Sims Terry Kidwell with rocker. Shay, look at that mag that Sullivan gave you and read the Sims ad. Kidwell with rocker. Sorry, you ain’t patenting shit you didn’t invent and it’s been out for 25+ years.
    Hats off to Mervin for “marketing” it, and giving the board market the excitement that the binding market had a couple years ago with cap straps. But with all these donkeys confusing the hell out of people with a million rockers, this shit’s gonna turn into Step ins. No one marketed or claimed how much camber their boards had, and they all have diff ammounts. Don’t over tech this shit.
    I just wish Inca snowboards were still around with their goofy ass double camber crap to cash in on all this hype right now.
    Maybe Todd Richards and the Omatic group should do a Co-lab with Inca. Incmatic? Ha ha what’s up world champ, send me my signed board or I’ll sick Sabs on ya.

  23. Nose Dradamous
    February 04, 2009

    BTW, there is no umberella group with Capita. Capita is just a group of dudes trying to keep the dream alive, as we also are with Union and Coal. All are their own entitys though that share common owners. Anyway, we can use those eco materials as our product is built at one of the largest snowboard manufacturing facilities in the world. We have access to these goods because we are one of the brands that the Elan factory gives preferential treatment to.

  24. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    preferred treatment, exactly. not about what is right, about who is preferred. such a joke.

  25. Anonymous
    February 04, 2009

    It’s all about that stupid Elan factory. All those boards from Austria, they are all the same and ride the same. Go on and build your own factory (I know it ain’t easy, but Never Summer did it) and you won’t be bothered anymore with exclusive materials and other big companies hypocrisy.

  26. Paul
    February 05, 2009

    By the way, can anyone tell me how many brands are there now on the Elan factory?
    Arbor, Capita, Nitro(?), Elan-Artec, who else?

  27. Anonymous
    February 05, 2009

    Hey Shay – Thanks for the postings about Eco and Rocker. A few comments – as one of the people who assisted in designing the original Kidwell models for Sims, I assure you Rocker boards have been around since day one. Several first-generation boards had Rocker – the first one I saw was in 1977/78 by Steve Derra from Flight snowboards – an old company that came and went in the 70’s. The original use of rocker was to allow you to ride the mid-section and nose area of your board with out catching your fins – thereby preventing them from dragging your speed down. Also – turning was easier if you could rock backward into your fin as you leaned into a turn (similar to surfing). I got a lot of love for Mike and the crew, but Lib did not invent Rocker. Now – ECO. Salomon’s doing a lot of research and production of eco gear and we have our share of haters and lovers. Bottom line on Eco is pretty simple – reducing the environmental impact of gear is a good goal. For us, the project is driven by Wolle, who is really pushing hard to make this part of our company and the way he’s marketed. For those who don’t know Wolle – he’s a pretty peaceful cat who takes environmental issues very seriously. Marc – I fully agree with you – we’ve only begun to take a look at the Life-cycle issue and as long as I’m at Salomon you will never see us claim we are saving the world. None of us believe that. I simply view it as a way to respect Wolle – to look at riding differently – and research a direction that will help keep the snow around. Regarding sales of eco gear – they’re horrible. Companies like Burton haven’t seriously stepped into the game because they know you can put a shit-ton of money into Eco, with no real measurable increase in sales. Anyone who thinks that eco sells product or makes money is horribly misinformed. Iuo – also good comments – for the tradeshows this year we showed the full material usage, carbon and energy usage for our traditional construction – right next to our eco stuff. I wanted to fully disclose what the majority of our line is made of – and what’s generated by making a board. I think dealers and the media appreciated that we were showing both sides of the coin. For sure we will try to lower the impact on the full line in the future. Nice to meet you in Vegas Shay – keep up the good work! Brad

  28. Shayboarder
    February 05, 2009

    Thanks Brad for your comment, it was really good to meet you in Vegas and now hearing your input on both rocker and eco. It’s interesting to see the arguments of who did rocker first and I don’t think it matters except to those who want bragging rights. Rad to hear about your work with the original Sims Kidwell boards with rocker. I appreciate the salomon/bonfire isn’t claiming when it comes to eco and opening up to both sides without being totally unrealistic.

  29. Anonymous
    February 05, 2009

    nice brad, i was saying that to some people at sia, how my kidwell and my sims 1650 fe were both rockerd to the moon, not to mention my flight comp/rocket that i got from rob lavigne in like 84. if you remember , a full season of nose rides on a kidwell would give you more bannana looking tech that olson and saari could handle. good to see you in vegas too, been way to long.
    todd richards

  30. Marc
    February 06, 2009

    Hey Brad!

    Thanks for the perspective from inside Salomon. It’s always nice to get the other side of the story. It’s interesting because I think Burton is following a similar philosophy with a lot of their eco stuff: trying to respect Nicholas Mueller. That’s what it’s ultimately going to come down to, unless people start asking for it, no one is going to make it. Not only pros but average consumers have to start demanding it. Meanwhile, from the other end, manufacturers have to give the consumers a reason to demand it. Economics is confusing.

  31. Graham
    February 24, 2009

    I’m just glad to see the environmental discussion taking place. It’s an important one to have. Something’s happening and it affects us intimately. I’ve learned more from this comment board than many other sources. Still, there is so much out there and this is only a problem we can tackle by pooling our resources.

  32. A.
    February 24, 2009

    MERVS ARE HELLA_GREEN THEY RECYCLING IDEAS IS WHAT YOURE SAYING.

    OOPS NO I DIDNT SAY THAT–COME WITH THE SK8NANNER SORRY

    THE WHOLE WORLD BEEN RECYCLING MY STYLES FOR ABOUT FIFTEEN PLUS.

    F.U.P.M.

    THE ONLY GREEN I NEED IS DOLLARS. SO I CAN PAY FOR ALL THIS EXTRA ELECTRICITY ALL YALL RETARD BLOWHARDS ARE MAKING MY COMPUTERSCREEN USE AS I READ THIS BULLSHIT. AKA I KNEAD DOUGH SUCKERS

    ETC

    WHERE THE BLOGS AT

    FUCKIN WHAT’S GREENER: ME STILL RIDING A HANDMEDOWN BOARD FROM THE O OR BUYING A BRAND NEW QUIVER OF ELECTRIC HYBRIDS?

    ED BEGLEY JR GOT A SICK FLAPPED OUT METHOD

    HEY DOES SHAYBOARDER REALLY POST HERE?

  33. Shayboarder
    February 24, 2009

    haha yes I really post here.

    I just visited Mervin Manufacturing yesterday and will be writing up about it including their green efforts as a factory. It was good to see in person.

  34. truthseeker
    April 22, 2009

    Hey I knew the first day i rode one in 2000 that two cambered snowboards were physically correct for snowboarding unlike the single cambered ski boards pumped out to he masses! Rocker…. a step in the right direction add C2 ( two cambers ) like INCA did first now Never Summer, Mervin, Nitro and others have finally woken up and started building their boards more correctly for snowboarding. They should all really license the tech invented by Don Stubblefield! Personally I’d hate to see riders disadvantaged cos of patent suits as I believe that all riders deserve to have the advantages that having 2 cambers and of course the rocker in the middle that links them. The future of snowboarding has a camber under each foot and if yr rocker board has only rocker you are missing out on independent suspension and superior weight distribution 2 cambers bring to a snowboard

  35. Anonymous
    May 04, 2009

    I rode an Inca for years. It was all BS. All that was good was the soft middle for moguls. The recommended lengths were stupid. You flatten out the two cambers and you still have a cambered board. Tried the board again 2 years ago. It was awful.

  36. truthseeker
    May 24, 2009

    Well anonymous it seems that you are full of BS cos there are far more advantages to a properly constructed snowboard than just a soft mid flex in moguls like float in pow and edge hold on ice to name but a few. If it was such BS why did you ride it for years. Change your name to BSer!

  37. wow
    November 12, 2010

    Holy shit it’s todd richards!